Thursday, December 11, 2008

"E" Groups - neglect highway capacity increase

From Greater, Greater Washington;

"... a coalition of 17 environmental groups, including [jesuitical] Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club, NRDC, Environmental Defense, Greenpeace, and many more, released a list of 78 projects that could spend $145 billion over the next 12 months on immediate economic stimulus. (See the summary table or detailed list.) On transportation, the list includes fixing existing roads and bridges, operating grants to keep up transit service and current fares, and fully funding all New Starts transit projects that are in the pipeline, but no new lane miles of highways.

Transportation is responsible for a third of global warming pollution and more than 60 percent of domestic oil consumption. To mitigate this, we need a comprehensive transportation sector investment strategy that includes substantial build out of public transportation and other alternative transportation resources, rehabilitation and maintenance of existing roads and bridges (which creates more jobs than investments in new road capacity), investment in next generation alternative fuels, and acceleration of increases in vehicle efficiency. Meeting these needs can reduce our dependence on oil, reduce global warming pollution, and create millions of good jobs by investing in low-carbon transportation projects.

We recommend at least $58.8 billion investment in transit, other transportation alternatives, environmental mitigation, road and bridge maintenance, and vehicle and fuel technologies ...

We also strongly oppose spending any portion of an economic stimulus package on highway projects that include new capacity. Adding road capacity has been shown to induce additional vehicle use, leading to increased oil consumption, greenhouse gasses, and traffic congestion in the long term. These projects also promote sprawling land development patterns that further exacerbate these problems and require future infrastructure investments to mitigate. Any spending on highways and roads (including bridges) should be based on Fix-It First principles of asset management.

The list also includes funds for alternative energy research and starting up production of non-corn biofuels, worker training for green jobs, energy efficiency tax credits, weatherization for households, schools, and local governments, incentives for energy efficient appliances, purchasing foreclosed land for conservation, maintenance in national parks and wildlife refuges, solar panel deployment on public and private buildings, energy transmission grid upgrades, dam repair, coastal restoration from Long Island Sound to the Great Lakes to the Mississippi delta and coastal Louisiana, and more."

The 'e" groups completely ignore time savings and reduced pollution from reduced congestion via promoting a myopic view that ignores variables, for doctrine they would not apply to anything else.

To their credit they did include non corn biomass, but what do they say about improving the electric grid for powering the new transit?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Don't Forget

From [transport-policy] Re: From Rhetoric to Reality on Transit

Don't forget that rail transit - not the automobile - was first responsible for allowing outward development. People have a natural inclination to travel, to expand their horizons, and to avail themselves of more opportunities.

It is my firm belief that much of this worship at the mass transit alter is oriented towards a hope that we will turn back the clock and go back to living in very narrow corridors of human habitat, while leaving the rest untouched. That is, it is designed to restrict our choices, not expand them. The automobile is the uber enemy of the enviro-transit crowd simply because it is the primary vehicle (excuse the pun) that allows us to transcend our otherwise normal limits.

Of course, there are a few - you, Sandy would be in this category - that simply love mass transit and dense cities in their own right. That also puts you in the reasonable category, as you, while loving this lifestyle for yourself, don't necessarily wish to impose it on everyone else and you recognize the impossibility of doing so.

Common sense will eventually prevail. The automobile thrives more than ever despite clogged roads, high energy prices, and ideologues bent on killing it off. Until something better replaces it - such as teleporters or flying cars - it will continue to thrive in some form. You can't turn back the clock. The era of mass transit is long over - it was the dominant form of transportation for a mere few decades before being passed up. But we can thank it for starting a trend - outward development - that the automobile has successfully and thankfully continued.

Don Hagstrom

--- On Tue, 12/2/08, Sandy Smith wrote:
From: Sandy Smith
Subject: Re: [transport-policy] Re: From Rhetoric to Reality on Transit
To: transport-policy@ yahoogroups. com
Date: Tuesday, December 2, 2008, 12:25 PM

Since I've been invoked in this discussion, yes, I definitely agree.

The problem for us today is that our built environment has always been shaped by the dominant modes of transportation.

William Penn's original vision for the capital of his "holy experiment" could only be described as "faith-based planning" in light of the technologies of the day. Most people got around on foot and required face-to-face contact to carry out their business. It would have been highly impractical at best for Philadelphia' s city blocks to have only one structure on each, as Penn had hoped for his "Greene Countrie Towne, which will always be wholesome and never burnt." So reality trumped vision, and the leading 18th-century American city was a crowded collection of houses, shops and churches that extended no further west than seven blocks from the Delaware River.

As the automobile collapses distance, it allows dwellings to spread across the land in a manner that Penn would no doubt have approved of. This, however, has the unfortunate (to me) side effect of making it difficult at best to negotiate the terrain by any other means.

Those cities that have relatively high levels of transit service -- and patronage -- all more closely resemble Philadelphia in form than they do Salt Lake City -- or even my hometown of Kansas City, which -- like Los Angeles to a lesser extent -- is actually a transitional metropolis, shaped both by pedestrian-oriented and auto-oriented transportation. (Rail transit falls in the former category because its passengers are drawn from locations not directly next to its stations, and the passengers must use some other means to reach the station, walking being the most common.) And even those pedestrian-oriented cities have had to make some accommodation to the cars in their midst -- and often have suburbs that are as auto-oriented as anything west of the Mississippi. (By living a true urban lifestyle, I have self-limited the pool of employers I may work for in this region, as some large local employers -- Wyeth Labs,e g. -- are located beyond the pale of public transportation. )

It really pains me to admit this, but efforts to Phillify the Salt Lake Cities of this country are a bit like putting toothpaste back in the tube.

---------Sandy Smith, Exile on Market Street, Philadelphia- -------
SandySmith80@ / http://mysite. sandy.f.smith
AOL IM: marketstel

"The voice of the intelligence. drowned out by the roar of fear. It is ignored by the voice of desire. It is contradicted by the voice of shame. It is biased by hate and extinguished by anger. Most of all, it is silenced by ignorance."
--Dr. Karl Menninger

Monday, October 13, 2008

Seattle 'Chopp Way' Versus 'Moon Way'

'Chopp Way'
(named after Frank Chopp of the Washington State government)
a line of connected buildings
with 1st story retail
and 3rd story encased highway with 4th level linear park

'Moon Way'
(named for Cary Moon of the Peoples Waterfront Alliance)
a line of condos with all vehicular traffic on the surface

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Multi-Architectural 'Chopp Way'

Intriguing Multi Use Retail - Highway - Promenade
Seattle, Washington Alaska Way Route 99 Replacement

Posted Thu, Sep 25, 9:50 a.m.

I have to say...: ...I actually REALLY like this plan. As a Seattle transplant, one of the most awesome things that I've loved about this city is it's uniqueness to expose people to its natural and architectural beauty in some of the most unexpected ways.

I was disappointed to hear that so many people hate the viaduct - it is one of the things that help keep my sanity going to and from work, being stuck in traffic. I LOVE driving along the waterfront, seeing the City, the Olympics, the Water, the greenery, all in one breadth.

I think this plan beatifies an ugly, much needed replacement of the existing structure, and also makes it multi-functional. It addresses the need for a more pedestrian-friendly atmosphere along the waterfront, while preserving the uniqueness of this vehicle thoroughfare.

I actually think it's a great compromise for both ends of the argument. It disappoints me that so many people here are against any sort of compromise...if it's not exactly their way, then it's a horrible idea...disappointing!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

'New' Urbanism Threat to Pedestrians?

Route 34 Freeway Chock:
new development
that could have accommodated subterrain freeway extension
but which does not
thanks to Yale University selfishness

Official planning claims to to seek a more pedestrian friendly New Haven Route 34 corridor, particularly in the area around York Street which crosses over the freeway beneath the Air Rights garage.

Yet such planning truncates the freeway to the east, placing the full direct stream of freeway traffic upon the frontage road along this garage in the area with the greatest need for pedestrian cross connectivity.

It can not turn back the clock to eliminate I-91, I-95 and their connecting interchange.

Yet it blocks a short extension of the subterranean freeway that would allow a greater dispersal of traffic and allow it to continue below ground to the west of this area of proposed pedestrian connectivity.

And it seeks to attract even greater amounts of vehicular traffic with massive new real estate development (far larger than the pre-existing residential neighborhoods) with large amounts of parking.

Could the 'planners' ' responsible of failing to require these new buildings to be built with subterranean passages for the highway extension be somehow held liable by the families of pedestrians injured or killed in the area around the garage?

CNU Mis describes New Haven 34 Freeway

Congress for 'New' Urbanism mis-description avoids mention of depressed grade permitting buildings and park land atop freeway

4. Route 34, New Haven, CT


The Oak Street Connector, or Route 34, begins at the junction of Interstates 95 and 91 and extends on columns into downtown New Haven for 1.1 miles before dropping to grade and continuing as a pair of one-way streets. Built in 1959, the Connector was an urban renewal project, occupying 26 acres of land between downtown and the nearby neighborhood. The original plan was to extend the road another 10 miles, but that long section was never built. As a result, 600 families and 65 businesses were displaced to make room for a highway that was never completed. As of 2005, 73,900 vehicles traveled on the Connecter per day.

Note from the photos above that the Route 34 Freeway has an elevated segment crossing over railroad tracks that connects to an interchange with I-91 and I-95 , yet the segment closer is depressed (below grade) with overpasses visible for Church and College Streets. Although the freeway was built further in, beneath York Street to the western edge of the Air Rights Garage, traffic is forced off of it to the east, denying the freeway use beneath the Air Rights Garage.

The proposal would eliminate the depressed segment, even though that could accommodate air rights development, while likely preserving the elevated segment.

Route 34 development proposal looking west
with depressed freeway segment eliminated
but retaining elevated segment crossing over railroad

Monday, September 29, 2008

TSTC Big Mistake on Rt. 34 Freeway

  1. Posted July 24, 2008 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    this about the rt. 34 freeway—very big mistake in not finishing this highway, it should have been built on a cut, and cover, and after which, come in and rebuild the neighborhood—this way you get the best of both,as this neighborhood was a slum when they tore it down years ago.

    Had they built 34(as planned) to NY `s NY State Throughway, and the NY 17 freeway interchange this would have made for a bypass (esp. east of I -684) of the costal cities of CT, and would have helped take traffic off I-95, AND I-84,

    I for one disagree with the tearing down this highway, do not blame the highway, its planners, designers, and builders of the mid 50s for this—build it ,and be done with it is how highways should be built–it is this hemming, and hawing that has done more harm then good. I believe that tax revenues is another reason this is being done—what are you going to do when the city runs out of land to build, and tax.



Check out the following spin, which fails to mention idea of buildings atop subterranean freeway:

New Haven Hospital Projects May Heal City’s Route 34 Rift

Commercial Record (Boston), May 16, 2008, By Jeff Haynes, Reporter

The so-called connector route was anything but. After decades of division created by New Haven’s Route 34, efforts to start punching through pedestrian links between downtown and the Yale-New Haven Hospital are coming. Two mixed-use developments ready to break ground have the city’s residents, planners and real estate professionals waiting to see if the trend will move westward, bridging the gap the connector route filled with heavy traffic and vacant land.

Separated by a block, the two developments along Route 34 will serve the hospital in different ways. The $40 million Park Street building, with its groundbreaking scheduled for May 27, is designed to provide laboratory and support space to the hospital. A little farther west, Boston-based Intercontinental Real Estate Corp. is slated to break ground in September for a mixed-use project that will include an 845-unit parking garage for the hospital.

But it’s the other functions of those sites that have everyone watching.

“Urbanistically, [the Park Street building] is a linking piece,” said Barry Svigals, of New Haven architectural firm
Svigals & Partners. His firm and Behnisch Architects of California designed the building. The structure is intended to connect pedestrians to the Air Rights garage, the street, and Yale-New Haven’s $470 million Smilow Cancer Hospital, now under construction.

To help draw in people, the Park Street space includes retail – “things that will involve activating the street,” Svigals said. “There is an atrium – a public atrium – that people will be able to walk through and go to the shops down in the lower level.”

The Intercontinental project plans include 57,000 square feet of office space, 15,560 square feet of ground-floor retail and 29 residential housing units in a “wrap” structure around the garage. The housing component is something residents on both sides of Route 34 have been seeking in hopes that new housing will help recreate neighborhood ties severed long ago by the highway.

Getting the housing units included in the plan took some negotiating, however, as the hospital’s original proposal for the site was a 1,400-car garage.

“So while 29 units may sound like a small number of residential units for a whole city block, we’re very pleased that we were able to convince the hospital to reduce the size of the garage to 845 [spaces] and include these other uses on the block,” said Karyn Gilvarg, executive director of city’s planning department. “We think they are key to healing this gap between the neighborhood that has been there for 40 years.”

The mixed-use style is consistent with redevelopment plans for the area drawn up two years ago, in part by Svigals and Maura Cochran, chairwoman and chief executive officer of Hartford-based Bartram & Cochran, which specializes in adaptive reuse of functionally obsolete properties.

“Part of the plan was to take the area closest to [the hospital] and make it a garage with a facade of residential [uses], putting retail on the first floor,” Cochran said. “There was also a strong need for retail. The retail market right around the hospital is – no surprise – the strongest in the area. You have both the commuters and all the people coming to Yale. So it could support new development.”

.... more high-density, mixed-use developments could be coming, depending on the success of the Intercontinental project.

“I think it’s a big factor,” Gilvarg said. “The [neighboring] Pfizer development was, to a great deal, driven by the state Department of Economic and Community Development. So to my mind, they let Pfizer get away with building a 3-story building and surface parking. And we need much denser development in this area.”

“Hopefully the next site, the balance goes the other way [toward] the commercial, the retail and the residential uses,” she added.

The broker community feels the same way.

“For us, that’s 20 to 25 acres of prospective retail and commercial space,” said Rich Guralnick, senior commercial broker for North Haven-based H. Pearce Commercial Real Estate. “My guess is that is going to ultimately wind up being a good mix of medical office and retail.”

In addition to its proximity to the Yale-New Haven Hospital, the land also is close to the St. Raphael Hospital.

“We’re in unbelievable proximity to both the major hospitals in the city,” Guralnick said.

A lot of the area doctors are now located in offices that are either converted older homes or outdated medical buildings, he said, so “there’s a pent up demand both from Yale-New Haven and St. Raphael for doctors to have their private practices in close proximity to the hospital.”

Whatever development goes in likely will have a residential component, too, he said. “I think there’s going to be a demand for residential and affordable housing in that strip as part of the mixed use,” Guralnick said.

For Svigals, the development potential is there.

“With the hospital and the medical school on one side of this connector and the city on the other, you have two very strong generators that will easily fill in that space in between,” Svigals said. “There are two concepts here. One is a stepping stone concept that if you can create – without having to do an entire redevelopment – if you can begin to build upon what’s there and create stepping stones from one place to another, that’s one concept.”

“The other that’s really important is that any urban development has to be synergistic,” Svigals said. “There is no independent piece that can solve an urban problem. You need to be firing on absolutely every cylinder in concert.”

.... “Mixed use is really where the trend has been – how to recapture what got sent out to the suburbs in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s with the urban mall spread,” Guralnick said. “Everyone is coming back into the city. So this is a fun opportunity for the city of New Haven to recapture and reposition itself against suburban sprawl.”

According to Gilvarg, the redevelopment of the lots will be concrete evidence of progress.

“When that starts to happen, I think people will recognize that within five years, two blocks will have been redeveloped after 40 or 50 years of nothing,” Gilvarg said.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008

New MD Bay Bridge Needed


National Capital to the Ocean needs an elegant & efficient bridge - P3 potential (EDITORIAL) Posted Fri, 2008-08-29 17:10

EDITORIAL: America's national capital region with a population of over 7.5 million people needs an elegant and efficient bridge on the way to the Atlantic coast. The existing pair of troubled, obsolete and ugly spans called the Chesapeake Bay Bridge need to be phased out, and a modern bridge put in their place.

On the existing decrepit spans there's always some huge disruption. In 2005 it was a deck repaving project that was botched and required months of lane closures. In 2007 it was a spectacular collision after a trailer came unhitched during two-way operations on the 3 lane span, killing several people and stopping traffic for more than a day. This year it's a fall-asleep driver wandering into the path of a tractor-trailer - also in unprotected two-way operations - which instead of being contained by the heavy concrete parapets effortlessly punched through and ended up in the Bay, the driver killed of course.

This Labor Day weekend and for perhaps another ten weeks only a single lane of the southern span will be in operation. After the latest fiasco they discovered corrosion in the steel bolts which hold the parapets to the deck - a 1980s add-on gone awry. Emergency repairs will occupy a lane around the clock.

It will be a maximum 2 lanes open per direction on a 3+3 lane road on either side.
Smaller incidents create less dramatic delays every few weeks.

The present spans are an operational nightmare.

The operational problems of the spans derive from:

- their incompatibility with the approach highways on either side 3+ 3 lanes going into 3+2 bridge lanes

- the lack of deck space on both spans for a central median barrier let alone for breakdown lanes and workzones

- steep grades up from the shallow water structures to the shipping channel spans

- the age of the spans especially the southern span, 56 years old, designed to much lower than current weight loadings and traffic densities

Without providing for greater traffic volumes than now the new Bay Bridge needs to have deck sufficient for:

- three travel lanes each direction to match the approach highways on either side

- sufficient spare space on either side of the travel lanes for broken down vehicles and work space

- a configuration that allows for two-way traffic on either side of a moveable/temporary barrier

Ideally there should be a sufficiently gentle vertical profile to the new bridge to allow heavy trucks to maintain speed on the upgrade but otherwise the deck needs to provide for an extra climbing lane on the upgrades.

About 138 feet (42m) of deck in total or 69ft (21m) each direction is needed to satisfy these requirements, which are normal on new interstate standard construction.

69ft (21m) allows for:

- 3x12ft (3.66m) fullsize travel lanes and 16.5ft (5m) each side for breakdown and work space, and space for runners & cyclists' lanes

- 4x12ft (3.66m) fullsize travel lanes plus 10.5ft (3.23m) each side for breakdown and work space, if the approach highways either side should be 4th-laned

- 6x11ft (3.4m) tight travel lanes plus 2ft (0.6m) central barrier for temporary or emergency 3+3 lane operations if the other direction was out of action

The 69ft (21m) each direction compares with:

- the 1952 southern span 2-lane deck of 28ft (8.5m)

- the 1973 northern span 3-lane deck of 38ft (11.6m)

The present deficient pair of spans provide 66ft (20.1m) total deck width compared to a needed 138ft (42m).

In an area that hurricanes very occasionally reach, and in an age of terrorism our new ideal Bay Bridge should probably built as twin spans - identical twins for esthetics.


The first new span is needed on the southern side to provide a regular 3 lanes eastbound. This would allow the 1952 span to be retired from regular use. It could be kept for occasional use or for regular use by bike riders until it needed to be removed to make way for the second new-span.

The project is not especially challenging in engineering terms. The sea floor is similar in profile to the sea floor under the east span portion of San Francisco Bay Bridge - minus the severe earthquake dangers. The two bridges are similar in total length.


The Maryland establishment - the Transportation Authority, legislators of both political parties, the governor and former governors, the Baltimore Sun - all say a new span is unaffordable.

It's one of the most affluent metro areas in the world and it can't afford a modern, comfortable road to its coastal playgrounds? This is preposterous.

What they mean is a new Bay Bridge can't be accommodated within the budgets and ways of doing things at state agencies.

The state toll authority MdTA doesn't want to take it on.

It's probably best that they don't. They have some big new projects on the go already - ICC and I-95 HOT lanes north of the Baltimore tunnels. Their management of the Bay Bridge has been so consistently awful a great cheer would go up on both sides of the Bay if the bridge was taken away from the MdTA.

The new Bay Bridge will almost certainly be a self-financing toll project.

There's an easy way to find out.

Set up a process to find out from investors what they'll fund in return for the right to toll. It's a perfect P3 or concession project.

Finally the existing spans are an esthetic atrocity that mar the beauty of the Bay with their trashy complexity and their jarring lines, so out of respect for the beautiful Bay we should be looking for ways to be rid of them while building a functional substitute.

(SOURCE: Data here mostly from Bay Bridge Transportation Needs Report, Maryland Transportation Authority, December 2004, which is a useful source of carefully assembled data but like every MdTA study on the Bridge wimps out when it gets to recommending needed improvements.)

TOLLROADSnews 2008-08-29

Thursday, August 28, 2008

U.S. 3rd World Country


As I sat in my seat at the Bird’s Nest, watching thousands of Chinese dancers, drummers, singers and acrobats on stilts perform their magic at the closing ceremony, I couldn’t help but reflect on how China and America have spent the last seven years: China has been preparing for the Olympics; we’ve been preparing for Al Qaeda. They’ve been building better stadiums, subways, airports, roads and parks. And we’ve been building better metal detectors, armored Humvees and pilotless drones.

The difference is starting to show. Just compare arriving at La Guardia’s dumpy terminal in New York City and driving through the crumbling infrastructure into Manhattan with arriving at Shanghai’s sleek airport and taking the 220-mile-per-hour magnetic levitation train, which uses electromagnetic propulsion instead of steel wheels and tracks, to get to town in a blink.

Then ask yourself: Who is living in the third world country?

Yes, if you drive an hour out of Beijing, you meet the vast dirt-poor third world of China. But here’s what’s new: The rich parts of China, the modern parts of Beijing or Shanghai or Dalian, are now more state of the art than rich America. The buildings are architecturally more interesting, the wireless networks more sophisticated, the roads and trains more efficient and nicer. And, I repeat, they did not get all this by discovering oil. They got it by digging inside themselves.

I realize the differences: We were attacked on 9/11; they were not. We have real enemies; theirs are small and mostly domestic. We had to respond to 9/11 at least by eliminating the Al Qaeda base in Afghanistan and investing in tighter homeland security. They could avoid foreign entanglements. Trying to build democracy in Iraq, though, which I supported, was a war of choice and is unlikely to ever produce anything equal to its huge price tag.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Washington, D.C. I-395 Gateway Chock

Sole remaining sliver of land alongside New York Avenue for I-395 tunnel extension to get new buildings via development company whose managing principal got his B.S. in Civil Engineering Degree from Notre Dame University.

More on this planning travesty at the full article at "A Trip Within The Beltway":

Robert J. Murphy

Number "17"
Blocks the valuable O Street axis

Also helps keep DC NE divided by rail by complicating the lowering/covering of the divisive surface railroad this complex would be mere feet away from.
Robert J. Murphy
Managing Principal

Bob Murphy, a founding principal of MRP Realty, has been a leader in the Washington real estate community for nearly two decades. Prior to forming MRP, Bob served as area president for Trammell Crow Company’s development and investment activities in the mid-Atlantic region. During his tenure with Trammell Crow Company, his team was the company’s most active and profitable development operation, developing more than twelve million square feet of space.

Bob has served as chairman of the Northern Virginia chapter of NAIOP; and as a member of the D.C. Central Business BID, the Mount Vernon Triangle CID, and the Urban Land Institute District Council. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA in Real Estate Finance from the Columbia University School of Business.

Apparantly, the University of Notre Dame has a new medievalist civil engineering program that teaches the chocking of valuable transport corridors without regard to the increase on costs-complexities of constructing much needed highway evacuation routes.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Blood on their Hands- the doctrinaire anti freeway movement

In a message dated 8/8/2008 2:00:17 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, myz7@comcast. net writes:

The 2006 data by state is at
http://www.fhwa. ohim/hs06/ pdf/fi20. pdf

I have always stressed to the anti-freeway people that, by forbidding freeways, they are increasing fatalities. When existing freeway capacity is reached, drivers shift to parallel arterials and, then, neighborhood streets to find a less congested route. That makes the more dangerous roads more dangerous for autos, bikes and pedestrians.


Thanks, Mel,

Your point on building or widening freeways is quite valid.

What Lave/Elias showed in 1987, and was again showed after 1995, was that posting the proper speed limits on the freeways helps divert more traffic to them and off the more dangerous surface highways and arterials, with statewide safety gains.

If a freeway is posted at 65 (likely below the 30th percentile speed) and a roughly parallel surface highway is posted at 55, there is much less incentive to divert to the freeway. The freeway, in most places, should be posted at 75, 80 or 85 to reflect actual 85th percentile speeds (depending on the area) and a much greater proportion of drivers would divert if they could legally save the larger amount of time the higher limit permits.


Jim Walker

So much for our jesuitical "environmentalist" and "safety" organizations!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

NY Times Perspective on People's Priorities

Overpriced hand bag advertisement
from the above-shown July 27, 2008 NY Times Styles


In a message dated 7/28/2008 3:56:16 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, tarubin@earthlink. net writes:

10. Finally, we need to be careful in determining how the public resolve responds to planners’ visions of future travel options. The increase in energy costs is and will continue to change behaviors but we need to use caution in estimating how quickly travelers will trade off time and convenience for energy cost savings.

This is the most important part of his arguments for me. At any foreseeable cost structure, the answer for me is likely to be .......... never.

If energy costs get really painful, I would make other trade-offs first, before abandoning the convenience of point-to-point travel ... where I want .... when I want .... with almost no need for prior scheduling. I suspect there are a LOT of people with similar opinions.

Jim Walker

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Westway Pay Back: Billions in Wall Street CEO Executives for Revived Westway, 2nd Avenue Subway, etc

Naming Rights For Infrastructure Funders?!

$2.5 billion (1980s estimated cost) Westway Project
$38 billion (2007 alone) Wall Street executive bonuses

Shining Light in Dark Corners

Everyone agrees Wall Street is having a bad year. Why are bonuses still in over the top? Someone must be profiting from the disaster of our economy, someone beyond the invest bank brokers. Someone is making billions selling stocks and equities short. And they are making sure the brokers who help them are rewarded for a job well done. Joe Kennedy did it in the Depression. There have to be hundreds profiting now from our misfortune.

They don’t just make deals on Wall Street. They make myths. And last week Wall Street's myth-making machine was roaring at full throttle — after the news broke that America’s five biggest investment banks will this year shell out a record $38 billion in bonus pay.

These men got these bonuses at a time when their companies lost $74 billion. N.Y. has given much to attract money firms.

How about some organizing for put the public infrastructure back within the mark of architects?

Wall Street could make its mark positively by paying for a revived Westway project in some form or another of an underground park covered West Side Highway.

Some far thinking CEO could be a rightful candidate for having it named after him/her.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Homeland Security Goal would be better served by reviving Interstate 70 South through northwest Washington

excerpt from comments of Mark Robinowitz for the DEIS of the ICC, a circumferential highway miles outside northern Washington, D.C.

(excerpt- at page 15)

If the ICC is truly intended to boast "Homeland Security", then additional analysis (in a SDEIS) is needed to determine the feasibility and need for reviving the 1950s era proposal for extending Interstate 70 South (the original name or I-270) inside the Beltway to downtown DC. This proposed road would run through Northwest Washington, near the new headquarters of the Department of Homeland Security (at the former Naval Security Station, next to American University).

1959 Friendship Heights

That was the radial highway that would have passed through Washington's wealthiest, whitest area, taking fewer homes than either the corresponding NCF or NE Freeway as shown in the 1959 Mass Transportation Plan, about 74 from the Maryland line at Friendship Heights to the north head of Glover Archibold Park to continue there south as a parkway, with the 1959 plan featuring a split to an I-70 continuation that would have displaced a few dwellings at the northern edge of the Cleveland Park neighborhood before crossing Rock Cree Park to a continuation through the Mt Pleasant neighborhood that would have displaced far more dwellings to an interchange with the I-66 North Leg of the Inner Loop.

1959 Cleveland Park
(dashed lines indicate tunnel segments)

1959 Mt. Pleasant
(no tunnel segments in less affluent areas)


The cancellation of the NW Freeway led to the 1962 JFK Administration proposal of replacing the 1959 plan for three separate northern radial freeways with a 2 into 1 "Y" Route upon the B&O Metro Branch RR-industrial corridor that runs next to the campus of Catholic University of America. This was to occur with essentially the rail transit network that was built for WMATA.


That plan would be effectively undermined politically via the subsequent 1964 North Central Freeway reports' failure to follow the JFK plan with up to 37 studied routes largely nowhere near this rr and with a recommendation running along the rr in some areas only to deviate significantly directly through old neighborhoods with far far higher local impacts -- 471 free standing dwellings for the 1 mile segment through Takoma Park, Maryland upon a route not only far more destructive but longer and less direct then JFK's B&O "Y" route.


Veers about 1/2 mile away from the B&O railroad on new swath through old neighborhoods in Takoma Park, Maryland, taking 471 houses for the 1.1 mile segment, before rejoining the railroad immediately north of New Hampshire Avenue.

This route was longer and less direct.

Route #11 at New Hampshire Avenue, veering away from the B&O railroad into Takoma Park



It was not until 1966 that a "supplementary" North Central Freeway study with the JFK B&O route appeared; it eliminated the separate swath in Takoma Park by "hugging" the railroad's flanks at the edge of Takoma Park, with various sort tunnels to swing the highway to one side or the other railroad, such as alongside Montgomery Community College, with a proposal to effectively do the same alongside Catholic University and Brookland via "air rights" development.



The 1971 plan extends the highway cover southward to Rhode Island Avenue, yet inexplicitly deletes the northern segment alongside the main campus of Catholic University of America, continuing its traditional isolation from the east .

All of this was undermined by various politician's suggestions as late as 1968 in favor of the earlier route from 1964 as "less expensive".

So would a change in the route in the vicinity of Fort Totten to use more parkland, creating a new objection in the 1966-71 plan absent from the 1964 plan.

1964 plan which follows the railroad at Fort Totten

1966 plan which veers to the west at Fort Totten

So conceivably did the 1971 plan's to bury the highway segment through Takoma, D.C., but with a catch: whereas the 1966 plan flanked the railroad -- that is a 3/RR/RR/3 configuration -- the 1971 plan placed both directions of the highway along the railroad's eastern side, thus placing it in direct conflict with the landmark Cady-Lee mansion on the corner of Eastern Avenue and Piney Branch, necessitating its removal, whereas the 1966 plan avoided this.

1966 I-70S
Cut and cover tunnels
Silver Spring, Maryland
alongside Blair Park/Montgomery Community College

1966 I-70S North Central Freeway
flanks the railroad
in Takoma, D.C.

1971 I-70S North Central Freeway
all on the eastern side of the railroad

No plan was drawn up via the authorities to tunnelize this segment of highway with highway carriageways flanking the railroad to preserve the Cady Lee mansion as well as the houses to the north facing Takoma Avenue. The Cady Lee mansion, built cir 1884, is the northernmost house within D.C. along the railroad's eastern side.

Why add objections lacking in earlier plans?

Doing so would only continue to undermine this highway's political support, doing so pretty much by the time of the final re-routing with the change of the I-95 Northeast Freeway's route from Northwest Branch Park/Fort Drive, to the PEPCO power line/New Hampshire Avenue route.

D.C. I-95 Northeast Freeway routes

1960 report has I-95 in Maryland via Northwest Branch and entering D.C. passing alongside Catholic Sisters College; that route is openly opposed by the Roman Catholic Church and the adjoining residential areas, leading to its re-routing within D.C. via the Fort Drive right of ay between Galatin and Galloway Streets NE. The subsequent PEPCO Power Line right of route was developed in the 1971 report, replacing the Northwest Branch-Fort Drive route in order to preserve parkland and re-utilize n existing 250 foot clear cut power line right of way extending from outside the I-495 Capital Beltway to some 1,600 or so feet from the Maryland D.C. line alongside New Hampshire Avenue, to then travel about another 1,600 feet to join the B&O railroad corridor.

PEPCO/New Hampshire Avenue
1971- dropped by Maryland July 16, 1973

In my studies of numerous historical information sources regarding this highway planning, I have yet to encounter anything on the Order of the Eastern Star's opinions- for instance did they ever request making the depressed segment through their property as a tunnel to preserve the home's sanctity?

Likewise with that of Catholic University of America- did they for instance object to the proposed highway lid's shortening in the 1971 plan versus the 1966 plan which extended further north alongside the CUA main campus to Taylor Street?

The Washington Post would completely misrepresent this route
in its November, 2000 article "Lost Highways" by Bob and Jane Levey, with this map turning the I-95 Northeast route away from its New Hampshire Avenue routing through the field of the Order of the Eastern Star Masonic home, and upon a highly destructive and fictitious route that appears in no planning documents

No northern D.C. radial highway appears in official planning documents after 1973.

A Future Washington, D.C. Big Dig

North Central Freeway- A Trip Within The Beltway
Northeast Freeway- A Trip Within The Beltway
Northwest Freeway- A Trip Within The Beltway
Evacuation Routes- A Trip Within The Beltway

The Washington Post Lies About D.C. I-95

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Washingon, D.C. Evacation Route Subversion

Government and private planners to subvert road evacuation routes.

- 11th Street Bridge ramps to and from RFK Stadium to be demolished: Planned by DDOT
- I-395 segment to be closed, tunnel extension canceled: proposed by NCPC and DDOT
- historic north central route to be chocked at Catholic University area: proposed
- South Capitol Street underpass to be closed; tunnel thwarted by rush for real estate development: proposed
- SW Freeway bottleneck chock via row of townhouses 16' from retaining wall: done

Lip service after 911 was given to the idea of additional evacuation routes to serve the masses particularly in the event of an emergency as a security measure.

Yet all levels of government are going along with a pied piper's song of new medievalism to chock if not eliminate routes.

What can we call a government that has civil defense languish while government efforts are most heavily weighted towards warrantless domestic surveillance?

Homeland Security Goal Better Served by Reviving I-70S through NW Washington DC- Mark Robinowitz

Washington, D.C. Parochialism Emanating From All Levels Of Government